Tom Flint: A fragrant world of fascinating cuppas
Everything in life can be made a little better with a decent cup of tea. This has been the mantra of us Brits for time immemorial and it has served us well. It is not going to solve your financial worries or sort out your latest relationship crisis but it will make you feel a little better and give you a moment to stop and reflect on the mess that is your life.
Creating the perfect cup of tea is an extremely contentious issue; and you will not be surprised to hear that I am very particular about how my tea is made. I don’t profess to being a tea connoisseur, Yorkshire Tea all the way for me, but there are some people who take their tea very seriously. I visited Bluebird Tea Co in Brighton for one of their tea mixology workshops to find out just how serious tea can be.
They are a tea mixology business, a term that most will be more familiar with in the cocktail world, who look to create bespoke tea blends. This means you will not find your standard builders tea at Bluebird, although they have got their own version of this, and will instead discover a world of teas containing anything from rose petals through to chocolate and caramel.
We started with a tea lesson that included some tea identification and information on how different teas are produced. We also learnt about matcha tea which is something I have been interested in previously. This fantastic super green tea has incredible health benefits and is worth considering if health foods are your thing.
Next up we sampled a range of Bluebird’s teas. This included a sniff of the leaves followed by a small taster of tea which we had to slurp loudly in a wine tasting style. The teas we sampled ranged from gentle white teas flavoured with floral influences, green teas with citrus notes, mate tea from South America where it is also known as Cimarron, fermented Pu-erh tea with its earthy flavour, and smoky black teas.
As you can see from that list there is a lot of tea to get through at Bluebird. The actual teas look rather beautiful, especially the white teas that are infused with rose and hibiscus among other floral loveliness. They look much more like potpourri than something you can drink, and smell that good as well, but make a rather interesting cuppa as well.
I head home with a belly full of teas that I never would have tried without Bluebirds mixology event. I’ve learnt a lot about tea and we purchased a tin of macha tea for home. Bluebird Tea Co are extremely passionate and they really believe in their products.
I will certainly be popping back for a spot of Christmas shopping as there are plenty of excellent gifts to be had.